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Governments Should Protect Civilians, Investigate Abuses

(Bamako) – Governments in the Sahel should adopt measures to better protect civilians, ensure that counterterrorism operations respect rights, and fully investigate abuses by all sides, Human Rights Watch said today. The United Nations High…
Map of the Sahel region
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Move Will Protect Young People’s Rights, Dignity, Access to Health Care

(Chicago) – Illinois state lawmakers have voted to repeal a harmful abortion restriction that forced anyone under age 18 to involve a parent in an abortion decision, Human Rights Watch said today. Governor J. B. Pritzker should sign the bill into law…
Abortion rally in Chicaco, Illinois, US.
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UN Security Council Should Urge Investigations of Abuses by All Sides

(Bamako) – Malian authorities should investigate a spate of alleged summary executions, enforced disappearances, and incommunicado detentions by government security forces, Human Rights Watch said today. The United Nations Security Council, visiting…
Col. Assimi Goïta is sworn in as Mali’s interim president on June 7, 2021. On May 24, Goïta overthrew the previous coup government, led by Bah Ndaw.
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Women’s Autonomy Should Be at Center of Abortion Regulation

(Washington, DC, September 14, 2021) – Mexico's Supreme Court has issued two rulings that set important precedents for reproductive justice not only for Mexico but for the Americas, Human Rights Watch said today. On September 7, 2021, the Supreme…
A woman holds up a banner that reads "My body, I decide" during a rally to celebrate the decision of the Mexican Supreme Court that found the total criminalization of abortion to be unconstitutional, in Saltillo, Mexico September 7, 2021.
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Greatest Harm for Indigenous, Afro-Descendent People Living in Poverty

(Washington, D.C.) – Ecuador’s laws criminalizing abortion violate the rights and risk the lives and health of women and girls, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 128-page report, “‘Why Do They Want to Make Me Suffer Again?’…
Feminist activists and pro-choice groups witness a debate at Ecuador’s National Assembly on Criminal Code reform, in which there was a possibility that legislators would approve the decriminalization of abortion in cases involving rape, in Quito, Ecuador, on January 3, 2019.
News

Pass Amendments to Protect Peaceful Dissent

(Nairobi) – Senegal’s new counterterrorism laws could punish political speech and peaceful protest as “terrorist acts,” target union leaders, and dangerously expand police surveillance powers, Human Rights Watch said today. The government and…
People flee teargas thrown by riot police during a protest against the proposed counterterrorism law and penal code reform at the Cheikh Anta Diop University campus in Dakar, Senegal, June 25, 2021.
News

Wrongful Prosecutions Violate Rights to Counsel, Fair Trial of Accused

(Bangkok) – Myanmar’s security forces have recently arbitrarily arrested at least six lawyers defending political prisoners, violating both the lawyers’ rights and those of their clients, Human Rights Watch said today. The arrests deprive defendants…
Police car is seen on a street during the military coup demonstration.
News

Repeal Prevention of Terrorism Act to Meet International Commitments

(New York) – The Sri Lankan government’s pardon of 16 prisoners convicted under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), however welcome, does not address the urgent need to repeal the draconian law, Human Rights Watch said today. The European…
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa's addresses parliament in Colombo, Sri Lanka, August 20, 2020.
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Guarantee Free Education for All; Tackle Abuses

(Nairobi) – African governments across the continent should accelerate efforts and provide adequate funding to ensure that all children can enjoy their right to an education, Human Rights Watch said today to mark the African Union’s Day of the African…
“Angela,” 20, walks with her son near her home after returning from school in Migori county, western Kenya
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Detaining People to Coerce Others is Collective Punishment

(Bangkok) – Myanmar security forces are arbitrarily arresting and detaining family and friends of activists, protesters, and opposition members, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should immediately and unconditionally release all those…
This image from an April 18, 2021 news report by Myawaddy TV shows people who security forces detained in the Yankin township of Yangon, Myanmar.
News

Potential Complicity in Unlawful Detention of ISIS Suspects, Children

Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden should promptly repatriate their nationals unlawfully held in life-threatening conditions in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to the four governments today.…
Children fly a kite at al-Hol camp in northeast Syria. 
News

Dropping Donor Support Threatens Essential Services

(New York) – Falling donor support for essential services in Afghanistan is reducing women’s access to essential health care, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. More cuts are likely in coming months following the announcement by…
A new mother holds her hour-old baby in the maternity ward at Dasht-e-Barchi hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, October 2020. She had travelled from neighboring Laghman province to give birth at the hospital. On May 12, 2020, unidentified gunmen attacked the hospital’s maternity ward, killing 24 people, including 16 mothers, 2 children, and a midwife. Three new mothers were killed in the delivery room. Another 20 people, including babies, were injured in the four-hour attack. Ongoing security concerns have lef
News

Lawmakers Should Enact Proposed Criminal Code Reform

(Washington, DC) – The Congress of the Dominican Republic should adopt a proposal to decriminalize abortion in three circumstances as a matter of urgency, Human Rights Watch said today. The country’s total abortion ban, in effect since 1884, threatens…
An abortion rights activist holds a plastic medallion reading "For the #3Causales (#3LegalGrounds), Life, Health and Dignity" during a protest to urge parliament to approve a proposed reform to the penal code that could end the total ban on abortion, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic March 18, 2021. 
News

Pregnant People, Infants, Children Particularly Vulnerable

(Washington, DC) – The administration of United States President Joe Biden should take concrete action to ensure that the country’s maternal health crisis, dominated by racial inequities, is a central focus of US domestic climate policy, a coalition…
US President Joe Biden signs a series of executive orders on tackling climate change on January 27, 2021 in Washington, DC.
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Discriminatory Restrictions Affect Independence to Marry, Study, Work, Travel

(Beirut, March 29, 2021) – Qatar’s discriminatory male guardianship system denies women the right to make many key decisions about their lives, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 94-page report, “‘Everything I Have to Do is…
Women fly a kite in a park next to a body of water
News

Vienna Academic Faces Abusive ‘Terrorism’ Charges

(Beirut) – Egyptian authorities should immediately release an anthropology master’s degree student at Central European University (CEU), or present evidence of actual criminal wrongdoing, Human Rights Watch said today. Police arrested the student,…
Ahmed Samir Santawy, an anthropology master’s student at Central European University (CEU) detained in February 2021.
News

Overdue Action is a Step Forward

(Geneva, March 12, 2021) – Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from around the world expressed their strong support today for a joint declaration by UN member states condemning the human rights situation in Egypt, which was delivered at the 46th…
Egyptian security forces cordon off roads during curfew hours in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, March 29, 2020
News

Forcing Parental Involvement in Abortion Violates Rights

A law in the US state of Illinois that forces people under 18 to involve an adult family member in their abortion decision is failing some of the state’s young people and violating their human rights. In a new joint report with the American Civil…
An illustration of scales imposed over a woman's torso
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Law Violates Young People’s Human Rights, Can Delay Their Care

(Chicago) – An Illinois law that requires a young person seeking an abortion to involve an adult family member is dangerous for youth in the state, violates their human rights, and threatens their health and safety, Human Rights Watch and the American…
An illustration of scales imposed over a woman's torso
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Significant Discrimination Against Women, Girls in Law and Practice

(Beirut) – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has made important women’s rights reforms in recent years, such as passing new domestic violence protections, but significant discrimination against women and girls remains, Human Rights Watch said today. Laws…
A foreign domestic worker with a child under a billboard in the United Arab Emirates.